Thursday, March 24, 2011
Author: Stacy Schiff
Genre: Non-fiction, History, Biography
Her life spanned fewer than 40 years, but she was the last Egyptian pharaoh and one of the most influential women of the age. She married twice, each time to a brother; she poisoned one and waged a war against the other. To this day, the life of Cleopatra VII (69-30 B.C.) intrigues us. This adept biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff tells us why it should. The true story of the woman behind the myth. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I picked up this book due to the fact that a lot of people were reading this book and that it had been recommended by a number of sources. It was an interesting read and I got more out of what the political world was like during her time. It was interesting to see how she was a very manipulative individual and pretty much got what she wanted, at least until her demise. I really liked how the author allowed the reader to understand that it wasn't just her sexuality that got her power, it was also that she understood how the political machine worked in her time and how that politics hasn't really changed.
4535 / 15000 pages. 30% done!
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 2004 (originally published in 1998)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys were so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.
And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls' bathroom. But then the real trouble begins--someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself! (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I really liked it. I liked how Rowling moved the story along, while also leaving in the whimsy of the first book. I found that during this book one got a sense of looming darkness that the books seem to get as the story progresses along. While the main characters are starting to mature, you also see that they are still children in some senses. They are still children and have that curiosity, but they are also keenly aware of the fact that they are growing up and that things will change as they grow up. Another excellent installment in the series.
4155 / 15000 pages. 28% done!
Author: Mark Logue, Peter Conradi
Genre: Biography, History, Non-Fiction
The subject of a major motion picture starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. One man saved the British Royal Family in the first decades of the 20th century - amazingly he was an almost unknown, and certainly unqualified, speech therapist called Lionel Logue, whom one newspaper in the 1930s famously dubbed The Quack who saved a King'. Logue wasn't a British aristocrat or even an Englishman - he was a commoner and an Australian to boot. Nevertheless it was the outgoing, amiable Logue who single-handedly turned the famously nervous, tongue-tied, Duke of York into the man who was capable of becoming King. Had Logue not saved Bertie (as the man who was to become King George VI was always known) from his debilitating stammer, and pathological nervousness in front of a crowd or microphone, then it is almost certain that the House of Windsor would have collapsed. The King's Speech is the previously untold story of the extraordinary relationship between Logue and the haunted young man who became King George VI, drawn from Logue's unpublished personal diaries. They throw extraordinary light on the intimacy of the two men - and the vital role the King's wife, the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, played in bringing them together to save her husband's reputation and his career as King. The King's Speech is an intimate portrait of the British monarchy at a time of its greatest crisis, seen through the eyes of an Australian commoner who was proud to serve, and save, his King. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I really liked it. While the movie only looked at one aspect of King George VII's and Logue's relationship, this book had a more complete look at their relationship and also looked more deeply at Logue's background and how he influenced the emerging field of Speech Therapy. Excellent read.
3789 / 15000 pages. 25% done!
Friday Follows asks this week: Give us five book related silly facts about you.
1. Most of the books that I have bought, I haven't read and are still in purchased condition.
2. My TBR is really insane and I don't know what the count is.
3. I have probably spent thousands of dollars on library fines
4. I am able to read a number of books at one time, as I can separate the storylines and can follow them all quite easily.
5. I typically borrow more books than I know I can read.
Crazy for Books asks this week: If you could physically put yourself into a book or a series, which one would it be and why?
The series that I would put myself into would be the Harry Potter series. I know it probably sounds cheeky and typical, but I liked how even if one was slightly different, one was accepted for who they where. It is also a world that seems so different from the one that we live in and if I wanted to escape the realities of the magical world, one could always go into the Muggle one, even if it were just for a moment.
Answer: Depends on the book. For the most part I prefer stand-alones, as I can put the investment into only one book and not think of the next books that are in the series. Its not that I don't like series, I just find that if you find a book in a series that you don't like, especially the first one, then you may be missing a really good book in a series that may come down the road. Also there is the financial and time that one invests into a series, depending on how long the series goes on for and how long the books are. There is also the factor that if you can't get the first book in a series, its really not worth the effort to read it. There are always exceptions.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Author: Anne Fortier
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance, Literary fiction
Of all the great love stories ever told, hers is perhaps the most famous. To me, she is the key to my family's fate. To you, she is Juliet.
When Julie Jacobs leaves for Italy per the instructions of her late aunt's will, she never imagines that she'll be thrust into a centuries-old feud, not to mention one of the most legendary romances of all time. However, as she uncovers the story of her ancestor, Giulietta, whose love for a man named Romeo proved ill-fated, Julie finds herself increasingly under threat, and can't help but feel that the past and present are very much connected.
Thoughts: I really enjoyed it. There was a time that I was struggling to get through it and really had to concentrate to be able to go back and forth, despite the fact that there was dates for the ones that when back. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and once I got into the story, I really couldn't put the book down and didn't want it to end. If you enjoy Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, you will find this book very fascinating, especially since you find out that the play is based on a Italian tale.....
3533 / 15000 pages. 24% done!
Author: Kate Pullinger
Genre: Historical fiction
Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London. But when her debilitating tuberculosis requires healthier climate, she and her lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage marshalled by the resourceful Omar, which travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons, excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, affording her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing.
Thoughts: Thought that the first part of the book really dragged, but the second part really picked up in a big way. I found it interesting in that I was delved into a world that I really had no clue about and found it very fascinating. It was also fascinating that I was reading this book during the riots in Egypt, which their president was thrown out of office. It was also interesting because it showed what sort of double standard that men and women servants had in that society.
3069 / 15000 pages. 20% done!
Author: Tracie Peterson
Genre: Historical fiction, Christian fiction
Married off at a tender age to a harsh, older widower, Lydia Gray can't help but feel a measure of relief when an accident claims his life. What happens next, however, is a surprise to everyone#58; Through an unforeseen fluke, Lydia finds herself the sole recipient of her late husband's fortune. But instead of granting her security, strife ensues as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves. pLydia longs to wash her hands of the situation and determines to join her aunt in Alaska, putting financial decisions in the capable hands of her lawyer. The beauty and serenity of life in Sitka appeal to Lydia, as does Kjell Lindquist, the handsome owner of the local sawmill. But a new discovery in Lydia's life forces her to rethink her future. She is bound to her past as never before...but what more must she sacrifice?
Thoughts: Other than what I think was an impossible way to go through labour, I really enjoyed the book and thought that the book flowed really well. While I haven't had amnesia, I have heard of when amnesia has completely changed a person's personality and it probably also can rob a person of their memories to the point where they have to ask people about things about their likes and dislikes. It was a nice quick read when in the middle of some very dense books.
2797 / 15000 pages. 19% done!